by Megan Jones

Hey folks, Fionn coming at you live and direct this Thursday whilst the rest of the team are hard at work! Megan is in Germany to find us some killer Riesling and Dan’s busy building Ken’s. Give it a follow, rumour has it that it's gonna be London’s hottest new eatery/drinkery. This week you’re stuck with me just like you’re stuck with this mediocre summer we’re currently having… Luckily for you, we have just received some wines that taste like liquid sunshine. So whilst I can’t guarantee glorious weather anytime soon, I can absolutely guarantee you some glorious wines!

I had the pleasure of trying the latest releases from Cantina Giardino a few backs, and it’s safe to say I was blown away. As natural as they come, these wines are just brimming with life. High up in the hills of Irpinia deep in southern Italy, Antonio and Daniela tend to some seriously old vines and champion their often overlooked local varieties. First up from CG we have Paski. Fruit from 70-year-old Coda Di Volpe vines (a new variety for me too) takes a 5-day bath on its skins before being sent for a year-long nap in chestnut casks. Arising from its slumber is a gorgeously hazy, straw yellow wine which has heaps of intrigue. Exotic fruits, herbal and smokey this is tasting great right out the gate but I reckon it will be divine after some time in bottle. Get one for now, and get some for later you too.

Next up, is T'ara rà. We’re talking Greco with a similar vinification and also from way up high. However, we now have a bit more structure and some firm but approachable tannins in the mixer. There is plenty of citrus on show with some heady spice thrown in for good measure. This would be a lovely thing to bring to your next BBQ, rain or shine. Again, I’d recommend grabbing a few of these to see how they evolve. I certainly know what I’ll be doing.

Moving on to the Reds we have just restocked on some Re. I’m sure there is a pun in there somewhere but I’m not even gonna try. Re is a beautifully light expression of Aglianico, again from vines at altitude. There's a bit of a theme here, so I reckon Irpinia must be pretty hilly. Anyhow, I really really love this wine. It’s black-fruited and briny but it still goes down effortlessly, especially from the fridge. Ticks all the boxes for me, including value for money. Funky but in the best possible way this is a sure-fire winner regardless of the weather.

Lastly, we move on to something a little more serious and my go-to BBQ wine for quite some time. Whilst I'm not averse to wines that land on the darker end of the fruit spectrum I do often find they can be a touch lethargic. However, not with CG and certainly not with Le Fole. We’re still talking about Aglianico but now picked from some seriously old vines. This is darker and broodier than its younger brother with more body that’s conveniently been rounded out beautifully after a couple of years in barrel. There is still plenty of acid here to keep things fresh, which means it’s just screaming out for something hot off the grill. I don’t know if it’s the altitude or some other kind of magic but CG certainly know how to retain freshness and drinkability in their wines, bigger reds included.

Enough spiel from me - I’ve got boxes of delicious things to unpack.

Take it easy people!